DNATechnology160-page12 - Biotechnology 12 Plants as...

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Biotechnology - 12 Plants as Vaccine Vectors ("Pharm" Plants) Research is ongoing to introduce vaccines into fruits or vegetables, so that obtaining immunity could be as easy as eating a banana. However, there are huge issues of controlling the amount of vaccine that might be expressed in the plant, or even if the vaccine got expressed in the edible portion of the plant. A modified approach is to have plants synthesize the vaccine and then extract and purify the product just as we do today with many gene products synthesized by bacteria into which desired genes have been incorporated. Research is also ongoing in areas of having plant foods contain anti-bacterial or anti-viral proteins that would "destroy" intestinal viruses or proteins. Again, since most proteins are digested in the stomach and small intestine, success is remote, and normal intestinal bacteria could also be impacted. Pharm Animals DNA technology uses virus vectors to incorporate desired DNA into mammalian egg cells that develop into adults that produce certain needed or useful human
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